Canadian dairy TRQ administration replicates earlier EC practices to consternation of EU Exporters

Summary

EU dairy exporters have complained Canada’s system for the allocation of the CETA cheese TRQ unfairly favours local manufacturers. The EU makes use of similar yet even more severe arrangements for TRQ administration in sensitive sectors, with under the EU-South Africa TDCA import licences being allocated only to ‘approved undertakings’ (EU dairy companies) on food safety grounds.  Important lessons in regard to how to ensure TRQ regulated imports under recently concluded EPAs do not undermine local producers can be learned from EU practices with regard to TRQ administration. These lessons could prove useful in ensuring that expanded imports from the EU in sensitive sectors do not undermine local agro-food sector development. Read more “Canadian dairy TRQ administration replicates earlier EC practices to consternation of EU Exporters”

DIT SACU Discussions to Extend Current Access to the UK Market More than a Technical Exercise

Summary
During the July 2017 visit of UK Secretary of State Lord Price to Southern Africa a commitment was made to replicating current market access arrangements post-Brexit. However it remains unclear how this to be achieved. The transitional extension of existing reciprocal preferences could not only face serious opposition from WTO members but would be far from a simple ‘technical exercise’. New rules of origin which took account of the UK’s departure from the EU agreement would be essential, in order to establish which products qualified for ‘originating status as UK products. The alternative would amount to an absence of rules or origin. Either would be a substantive modification of the existing terms of the UK’s export trade. The future of Tariff rate Quota (TRQ) arrangements under the EU agreement would also need to be resolved in the immediate post Brexit period. Looking to the longer term, there are a multiplicity of non-tariff issues related to post-Brexit UK trade and agricultural policies which give rise to profound uncertainties over the future value of any post Brexit preferential trade arrangement with the UK for certain SACU members. Many of these uncertainties will need to be addressed before the future value of a bilateral trade deal with the UK can be fully assessed. Read more “DIT SACU Discussions to Extend Current Access to the UK Market More than a Technical Exercise”

Role of UK Groceries Code Adjudicator could be extended

Summary

The UK GCA performance has been praised for gradually changing supermarket practices, with a debate now underway on whether the scope of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) should be extended. Traidcraft has called for such an extension to address abuses which take place elsewhere in grocery supply chains served by developing country suppliers, who currently have no means of seeking redress. Strengthening the code to effectively cover all routes to market used by developing country suppliers is one important dimension of the current GCA review. A further important dimension is the important role which such regulatory initiatives can play in changing supermarket sourcing practices. This is an important issue given the growing role of foreign owned supermarkets across the ACP and the difficulties this poses for local agricultural producers in entering this expanding retail market component. Read more “Role of UK Groceries Code Adjudicator could be extended”

Agriculture to be a Focus of the Renewed Africa-EU Partnership

Summary
Supporting African agro-food sector development given its employment, food security and rural development effects is nominally a focus of the proposed renewed Africa-EU partnership. However differences of opinion over what constitutes an appropriate ‘regulatory and policy framework’ for African agro-food sector development, alongside unacknowledged tensions between EU agro-food sector export objectives and African agro-food sector development aspirations, could pose serious challenges for a renewed Africa-EU partnership in this area.  Read more “Agriculture to be a Focus of the Renewed Africa-EU Partnership”

EU West Africa Dairy Sector Developments

Summary
European dairy companies continue to expand their operations in West Africa, with the region being seen as one with tremendous market potential.  While some companies are seeking to support local dairy sector development as part of their market expansion strategies, this is by no means universal. Since 2014 low global bulk dairy commodity prices have compounded the existing challenges faced in developing local milk-to-dairy supply chains in West Africa. This suggests a need for a sector wide approach to dairy sector development involving a commitment by all EU dairy companies to responsible patterns of trade and investment, designed to support the gradual growth in local milk-to-dairy supply chains. Read more “EU West Africa Dairy Sector Developments”

EU dairy companies commit to help building milk-to dairy supply chains in Nigeria

Summary
There is a need for greater coordination between EU dairy cooperatives in their efforts to promote the development of milk-to-dairy supply chains in Nigeria. This includes in regard to the establishment of code of conduct on responsible trade and investment engagement in the Nigerian dairy sector. However the Nigerian government will also need to make sustained efforts to address infrastructural and logistical constraints on the development of competitive milk supply chains. Arla continues to grapple with the challenge of reconciling its commitment to not undermining the position of local farmers and its commercial interests linked to its core profit maximisation obligations to its farmer owners. Read more “EU dairy companies commit to help building milk-to dairy supply chains in Nigeria”

USDA Highlights EU’s Continued Use of Protectionist Tools in the Agro-Food Sector

 

Summary
USDA highlights the EU’s continued use of protectionist trade tools in its agro-food sector. This boosts EU export competitiveness, which can harm ACP agricultural sectors (e.g. dairy and poultry sector development). EU practices contrasts sharply with EU policy prescriptions in an EPA context. This calls for the flexible interpretation and application of EPA commitments given the overriding importance of agriculture to livelihoods in many ACP countries. Read more “USDA Highlights EU’s Continued Use of Protectionist Tools in the Agro-Food Sector”

Reconciling Ghana’s agricultural development plans with EPA commitments

Summary
The government of Ghana is looking to create 1.5 million new jobs in agriculture in the next 2 years. Calls have been made to direct bank financing into agricultural investments. Yet systemic weaknesses beyond the agricultural sector need to be addressed if sourcing of local agricultural products is to increase. Policy interventions may also be needed to strengthen the functioning of local agricultural supply chains, with policy experiences elsewhere in Africa potentially holding important lessons. Read more “Reconciling Ghana’s agricultural development plans with EPA commitments”

Namibia’s Retail Sector Charter and the Strengthening of Local Supply Chains

Summary
In 2016 the Namibian government built on the successful Horticulture Development Initiative by launching a Retail Sector Charter, aimed at promoting increased procurement of locally grown or manufactured goods. The Horticulture Development Initiative, through its Namibian Market Share Promotion Scheme, had seen over a 10 year period an expansion of local sourcing of horticulture products from 5% of local consumption to around 50%. The Retail Sector Charter is a multifaceted plan aimed at progressively raising local procurement from 6% of purchases of all retailers, traders and hospitality sector enterprises to 20%.  In its implementation the Retail Sector Charter draws on the experience of the UK Groceries Code Adjudicator. Read more “Namibia’s Retail Sector Charter and the Strengthening of Local Supply Chains”

Growth in EU dairy exports overhangs ACP dairy sector development

Summary
The expansion of EU milk production has fuelled increased dairy exports. Except for fat-filled milk powders and to a lesser degree skimmed milk powder, ACP countries are not major markets for EU dairy exports. However the small size of national ACP dairy markets means even relatively small volumes of EU exports can disrupt efforts to expand local milk-to dairy supply chains. What is more the strongest growth in EU dairy exports has been in fat filled milk powders and skimmed milk powder, where ACP markets are more significant and where the dangers of displacement of local milk supplies are highest.

With EU milk production projected to increase 14.6 million tonnes in the next decade and with 50% of this expanded production needing to be exported, concerns are increasing over the impact this could have on efforts to develop milk-to-dairy supply chains in ACP countries. Read more “Growth in EU dairy exports overhangs ACP dairy sector development”